Taking stimulants, antidepressants, antipsychotics or off-label use of anti-convulsants often obscures the real problem and instead adds a new layer of unintended adverse events that only make conditions worse.
My advice to doctors: It's OK not to prescribe anything. It's OK to listen, to do no harm, to offer compassionate and helpful living advice. It can be therapeutic to recommend abstinence from cigarettes, drugs and alcohol, to eat more nutritiously, to sustain a relationship, lose weight, volunteer, meditate, pray, walk, laugh, sing, play music and embrace kindness.
It's also OK to offer the patient a metaphorical motivational kick and advise them to just do something to help themselves. That may do more to improve outcomes and reduce adverse events and unnecessary prescribing than an injudiciously prescribed pill or procedure.
Dr. Stefan Kruszewski is an Addiction Psychiatrist and CEO of Kruszewski & Associates, a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania based firm specializing in illuminating healthcare and financial fraud.